A call for an urgent increase in the planting of native tree species has been sounded by the Woodland Trust which says England and Ireland have the smallest percentage of woodland in Europe.

The trust is to lobby government after a survey revealed that tree cover in England is 8% and only 6.1% in Northern Ireland compared to 30% in Germany, 33% in Italy and Greece, 28% in France and 29% in Spain.

The submission to government will say that more native tree planting would protect indigenous species and bring social benefits for urban areas.